Cecilia Palmeiro is the fierce mujer behind Argentina’s “Ni Una Menos” (not one less) campaign against femicide. Their first national protest was in October 2016, and since then, the movement has touched different corners of a larger issue of systematic female oppression. Abortion is illegal in Argentina, recently ratified after a failed attempt to legalize abortion last year. Ni Una Menos sees abortion rights and economic security as two sides to the same coin.
On Monday, Palmeiro organized another major national strike, drawing in thousands of Argentine poderosas to call on the country to take emergency action for women.
In recent years, Argentina’s economy has plummeted into crisis, causing the government to cut social services.
The families that once relied on these services are forced into private debt. Palmeiro also sees a rising pattern of women being forced to stay in abusive relationships because it is financially unfeasible to leave.
This year’s protest may have had an undercurrent of economic goals, but the message is the same.
Protesters held signs showing the faces of women who have been murdered by their abusive partners. The message is simple: we can’t afford to lose one more woman to unfettered sexism.
With another election coming up in October, protesters regrouped the next day to advocate for abortion rights.
Abortion is only legal in Argentina if the woman was raped or the pregnancy is a risk to her health. Congress rejected the National Campaign for Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion’s bill last year. They’re submitting another bill this year to legalize abortion.
These three touchstones–ending domestic violence, ending the economic crisis, and legalizing abortion–are the key to gender equality for Palmeiro.
Like most social issues, there isn’t one easy fix. It’s an issue that we, as a society, have created over generations and that take sweeping efforts to untangle and undo.
And, like always, women in poverty feel the effects of patriarchal laws the most severely.
Yamila Picasso of the National Campaign for Legal, Safe and Free abortion told Al Jazeera, “We see that there is a clear relationship between these factors because abortion is a matter of social justice. Those who have the economic means can have an abortion, and those who do not must have unsafe or clandestine abortions.”
Around Buenos Aires, you’ll find political art wherever you look.
#NiUnaMenos is calling for stricter punishment laws against men who commit violent acts against women, in the hope of deterring and changing the culture. Women feel a danger walking the street that most men don’t, and this bench exemplifies this implicit policing of women’s bodies.
Here, you’ll see the shoes of murdered Argentine women.
The National Register of Femicides reported 1193 femicides between March 6, 2015 and May 20, 2019. Leaving the shoes of these women at the steps of Congress was an effort to make their absence more visible.
A walk around Buenos Aires shows abundant examples of protest.
This wall effectively reads “Death to machísmo!” #NiUnaMenos’ message is everywhere–from random walls to not so random walls.
#NiUnaMenos is also targeting churches at the heart of abuse scandals.
Twitter user @mariekeriethof posted this photo of graffiti on a church that reads “Trash Church.” She writes, “Anti-Church graffiti on the side of Salta’s main church, focusing on abuse. I’ve seen a lot of very angry graffiti on this topic around Chile and Argentina. Also churches with buckets of paint thrown at them by protesters. #niunamenos”
Even the cast of Orange is the New Black is speaking out.
If you care about this issue, tweet out about it using the hashtags #NiUnaMenos or #VivasNosQueremos. Argentina, estamos contigo.
So often as women, we find ourselves forced into the position of feeling as if we have to accommodate the feelings and desires of other people. We say “yes” to things when we want to actually say “no.” We smile when we feel sad or upset in order to make others feel comfortable. And more often than not we find ourselves contorting ourselves into being smaller to make others feel big.
Women on Reddit recently addressed the moment they realized they no longer had to do this in order to make others feel better.
The stories were pretty surprising! Check them out below.
“It’s become more clear as I’ve gotten older (hitting 30). Being forceful gets shit done. I don’t need people to like me, but I do need them to do their jobs. It’s worked for slumlord landlords (reporting code violations) and shitty coworkers (refusal to participate in busywork projects).
Being excessively agreeable wastes your time and costs you money. No, I’m not attending wedding or baby showers for acquaintances. No, I’m not buying whatever multilevel marketing crap acquaintances are pushing. No, I do not want to hold your baby.
It also sets you up for shitty, unsatisfying relationships. Potential partner, I am not a maid nor the fun director of the cruise ship that is your life. Handle your own shit.
“YES. I turned 30 last year and I started becoming less concerned about being “nice.” When you’re used to being agreeable and a people pleaser, it’s a tough transition, but I’m staying the course.”-
“Being agreeable and having boundaries can happen at the same time. I feel like I’m constantly evaluating the opportunity cost of saying yes/ being agreeable. Sometimes it’s really no big deal to be agreeable and it doesn’t make you a doormat. Sometimes it’s important to take a stand for yourself and speak up.”- Potential_Sea_832
“Actually when I got cancer. I just started giving no fucks about dumb shit. I cut out toxic people like it was nothing. Wanna be dramatic? Block. Wanna demand i do something for you? Block. It was so freeing and easy. No regrets at all.” –SilentSiren39
“When I was about 9 and my parents divorced, (mid 80’s so this was unheard of), my little friend group thought something was wrong with me and they decided to ostracize me. I vividly remember being on the playground and thought ‘fuck that shit’ and walked off to find new friends. From then on I give no fucks and take no shit.”- McWonderWoman
“100% agree. Honestly I think today was the first time I really truly had an authoritative vibe going on during a meeting. I’ve been at my job for almost 4 years and I’m 30 years old. When I first started, I sat in the meetings taking notes and just listening. Now I’m able to call out people on their shit while still being likable at the end of the day. I think either of the two extremes aren’t as useful as being friendly AND direct. Sad that it took me this long to feel comfortable in these shoes though!”- stripedbathmat
“I thought that I was being “nice” and “cool” and “a good friend” by never having an opinion on anything and always saying “I want to do whatever you want to do!” and “I want to eat whatever you want to eat!”
I would visit friends and I honestly thought I was being “cool” and “easygoing” by having zero plans for what to do while I’m there and making the host make all the decisions.
At some point it began to dawn on me how fucking ANNOYING it was to be around someone who goes out of their way to avoid having an opinion on things. I realized it was a defense mechanism I had built up over decades of living in a house where if you answered a question “wrong” you were harassed and taunted for the next year over it.
Once I realized that healthy, good people who ask you “Do you prefer tacos or Chinese for dinner tonight?” are ACTUALLY asking you and they are not laying in wait, ready to pounce on you and call you an piece of shit for answering the question “wrong” my life changed dramatically.
A person who has no opinion and only agrees with the group is not being “cool” and “easygoing” they are being a freaking door mat!! Probably because of some trauma or low self esteem (a mix of both for me).
Now if asked an honest question, I give an honest answer, and if someone freaks out then I realize that THEY are the one with issues, not me.”- FuckTon_of_Frosting
“For me, this moment happened when I was listening to a podcast called My Favorite Murder. Two women comedians telling stories of murder/crimes and talking about it respectfully the way you would talk to your friends. One episode they say “fuck politeness” in terms of you don’t have to be nice to strangers because you’re scared of seeming rude. It’s how a lot of women end up as victims of violent crime. Now I understand fuck politeness and it has made me so much more aware of my own self preservation and made me realize that people who react negatively to that are not people I want around me anyway. It’s been liberating and has helped my anxiety tremendously!”- Statistical-outlier1
“I’ve always been labeled as “challenging” by most people, especially teachers growing up. It’s gotten me in hot water a few times but the majority of the time, you gain respect. I stand up for myself and those around me that need it and don’t take crap. I don’t have time for toxic people or those who don’t treat me with any respect and it makes life so much easier without the drama. I still care deeply for the people in my life and make an effort to be well liked. But being a doormat doesn’t do you any favours.”- Scotty_Blues
“I never understood why i have to be agreeable to be honest… I was really bad at understanding social norms as a kid and it impacted my life in a lot of bad ways but there’s a lot of silver lining too… I realized a lot about myself and what im willing to put up with purely by Questioning things a lot, and the whole be a lady, be as small as possible, don’t be stubborn, that’s not how girls act, youll change your mind when youre older etc etc thing never made sense to me… It all seemed like it was made up to either stop me from having fun or to excuse people mistreating me (i was called stubborn a lot and i took it as a compliment every time cause it always happened when someone tried stomping a boundry for instance).
Then I grew up and realized it’s all stupid made up rules that exist to hold women down anyway. so yeah, im still dumb sometimes but at least i have enough confidence to not think misogyny is normal and i should put up with it…”- AvocadoBounty
“When it wasn’t about me. For some reason, I find it way easier to step up and say no when it was about other people. Like in college, when we were all out dancing and some creepy guy would start dancing up on me, I’d just go with it. But if a friend of mine was being creeped on, I’d cut in, tell him “no, she’s not interested” and move on. When I started work as a nurse, I realized this was even more important. I had to advocate for my patients because they can’t talk, or because I have information about the patient that the doctors making decisions didn’t. It didn’t matter if I was going against what the rest of the team or the patient’s family thought/wanted. My job was to uphold what the patient wanted.
As far as not being agreeable when it comes to myself, I’d say it was when I had a horrible breakup with my ex. He was the guy I thought I was going to marry, start a family with, and grow old together because he loved me. Turns out I was wrong. And after that, I had this horrible realization that no one (besides family) had my back…which was definitely depressing. but then I realized I could just have my own back, lol. So I started doing things that I wanted to do. I traveled to places I wanted to see. I went back to school for the degree I wanted. I invested and picked up the hobbies I wanted. and I never hesitate to spend money on myself, because fuck it. I’m worth it!”- lexi7171
“When my therapist gave me permission to hate the woman my ex completely destroyed me to be with – as long as I never actually acted on it (which I never have and never will because she didn’t do anything wrong that I can prove, I just fucking hate how her entire life has been perfect and full of money even though she’s basic af, unlike my ex or I). Hating her without reservation let me just…be. It almost gave me a sense of peace. I was never going to get closure from that donkey of an ex and the anonymous hate messages I used to get were definitely from this woman but allowing myself to stop saying “well I don’t want to hate on another woman since he’s the one who was a monster to me” and stopping giving her all these allowances let me see who he really was and how he treated me like shit compared to the way he is with her.”- FragrantEscape20
Rising Argentine rapper Ecko will make his acting debut in the upcoming HBO Max series Días de Gallos. He shared the good news this week about the project that hits close to home.
Días de Gallos will focus on rappers who come up through freestyle battles.
“This series is a snapshot of the world I come from, the world of freestyle,” Ecko said in a statement. “I am very comfortable telling this story. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with a great cast and production team.”
Like Ecko mentioned, Días de Gallos will be a scripted series showcasing the world of freestyle rap battles. He’s currently shooting the show in Bueno Aires, Argentina, with other confirmed castmates Ángela Torres and Tomás Wicz. Días de Gallos will premiere on HBO Max in June.
Ecko is one of Argentina’s leading trap rappers.
With a Latin trap movement happening within Argentina, Ecko has emerged as one of the country’s leading rap artists. He broke through in 2017 thanks to his hit “Dorado,” which has over 51 million views on YouTube. Ecko later followed that up with “Rebota,” the club banger he shares with other Argentine rappers like KHEA, Seven Kayne, and Iacho.
The 21-year-old artist has been building off that momentum, especially in 2020. Last November, Ecko released his EP Young Golden. For the EP’s lead single, he teamed up with Cazzu, Argentina’s top female trap artist, for the sensual collaboration “Cama Vacia.”
On Young Golden, Ecko collaborated with more of Latin music’s biggest hip-hop acts. He worked with Puerto Rican rapper Brytiago and Dominican singer Amenazzy for “QDLQQ” and Boricua trap pioneer Eladio Carrión in “Baila.”